Petite FranceApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Not far from the center of the city, just beyond the panoramic embankment, the river spreads out into five different arms. The largest arm flowing north is named the Fossé du Faux-Rempart and takes the shape of an insular ellipse. This "capricious" topography allowed for the construction of mills which attracted tanners to the area whose industry consumed great quantities of water. The outbreak, at the beginning of the 16th century, of patients with venereal diseases who had been contaminated during the wars in Italy, incited the Magistrate to isolate the ill in a building which has since been replaced by the square of the "Ponts-Couverts" or "Covered Bridges". As popular belief held, at the time of the hospital, a convention that the French were responsible for the outbreak of the venereal diseases, the hospital was referred to as "Zum Französel" or "Little France".